Book 10: Shrek’s Seven Monsters
Chapter 64.2: The Ultimate Soldier Plan
He Caitou smiled bitterly. "You're surprised, aren't you? It's no wonder, as I've kept this matter buried deep inside my heart for such a long time. My father was the previous emperor of the Sun Moon Empire. In fact, I had seven older sisters, and my mother only gave birth to me when my father had turned forty-eight. Back when my father was still the crown prince, his younger brother, who's also my uncle, had always tried to snatch the throne away from him. However, grandfather knew about uncle's vicious nature, and knew that giving him the throne would've only brought trouble to the country. Even though uncle's talent far surpassed that of my father's in every field, my grandfather still decided to deny him the throne."
"Once he'd inherited the throne, my father ruled the empire in earnest. He'd give his it his all to take care of national affairs, every day. As time went on, our empire became more and more prosperous beneath his rule. A large majority of the officials were moved by his earnestness, thus they pledged their loyalty to him."
"Right before his death, grandfather told my father to completely strip away uncle's power—only then would our country remain peaceful. However, my father was too kind-hearted; he couldn't bear to take away his younger brother's power. Therefore, he didn't fulfill grandfather's last wish, and thus left behind the root of all of the troubles that followed."
"Six years ago, when my father was in the prime of his life, he suddenly died in the middle of the night. My mother and my three unmarried elder sisters also died that same night. Later that same night, my uncle led the army and barged into the capital. Later, it was found out that my father, mother, and elder sister's food had all been poisoned. Everything changed from that night on. I still remember that terrifying figure entering the imperial palace and murdering everyone. I was only able to survive because my mother shoved me into a secret passage."
"When he didn't find my body, uncle sent some out some people to find and kill me. At the same time, he declared to the country that our entire family had died from food poisoning. He then took advantage of the situation and killed all of the subordinates and servants in the palace that were still loyal to my father, and then buried them with him. After this great purge, and due to the fact that he was the sole remaining heir to the empire, he began to rule over the country with an iron fist."
He Caitou's eyes had become red as he spoke, and he'd clenched his fists tightly. His usually kind and naive face had also become extremely sinister. His heart was currently full of hatred.
"Maybe it was thanks to father and mother watching over me from the heavens, but in the end, I managed to escape. However, I—who'd once been the crown prince—had been reduced to someone that was inferior to a beggar. And yet, I still didn't dare to return; I could only keep running. Afterwards, I managed to reach the borders of the Heavenly Soul Empire, which is where teacher saved me. Thanks to that, I was able to survive. However, I couldn't simply forget the deep hatred that's buried inside of my heart. Of course, I was clear as to what my limits were. In the end, I was still alone, and my power was insignificant by itself. The Ultimate Soldier Plan was my only hope of succeeding. However, I simply don't have enough talent to complete this plan."
He looked towards Huo Yuhao, his eyes red, and continued, "Yuhao. In the future, I really that you'll become the Ultimate Soldier. And once you do, I hope that you'll help me get my revenge. I know that this request might be too much. However, I'll do everything in my power to help you grow and become stronger. I didn't join the Tang Sect today just for its hidden weapons. It was also for the sake of deepening our relationship as brothers. I won't force you to do something you don't want to do. However, I can't get my revenge by relying on my power alone. Therefore, are you willing to try your best to help me, so long as it doesn't endanger your life?"
Huo Yuhao looked towards He Caitou, his expression now somber. "Senior Brother He, I also carry a deep hatred within me. However, I can't give you a definite answer right now, as I don't have the qualifications to do so. As of right now, I'm too weak to deal with either of our enemies. However, I'll always be your junior brother. If there's someone that wants to injure you, I won't let them off."
"Before I entered Shrek Academy, my heart was full of hatred. The only thought I had on my mind was revenge. However, when I arrived here, I discovered that I was nothing but a drop in the ocean. In order to get my revenge, I realized that I needed to train harder than I'd ever trained before. Only once we've become powerful people in the academy will we have the qualifications to talk about revenge. We'll both have to keep our hatreds buried inside of our hearts until we're strong enough. When the time comes, not only will we be brothers, we'll also be comrades-in-arms. At that time, I'll fight side by side with you."
"Fine." He Caitou stretched out his large hand towards Huo Yuhao. His white palm created a sharp contrast with the tanned skin on the back of his hand. Huo Yuhao also stretched his hand out and tightly grasped his.
He Caitou said in a grave tone, "Junior brother, let's try to help each other. We'll get through this together. Even if we take our revenge in ten years, it won't be too late. Right now, we're both still very weak. But what about ten years from now?"
Once he'd brought Huo Yuhao back to his dormitory, He Caitou changed back to the kind and plain core disciple of the Soul Tool Department he'd always been. Huo Yuhao had also gone back to normal; it was as if nothing had happened between them. However, he'd buried He Caitou's secret deep inside of his heart. Unless they had absolute strength, it would be pointless to talk about revenge.
Once they received the status of Shrek's Seven Monsters substitutes, Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao dedicated even more time to their studies. They spent all of their time after class cultivating.
They were honored to act as substitutes. However, the pressure weighing down on them was much greater at the same time. They wanted to preserve Shrek Academy's honor with all of their strength. And, since they were the youngest of the group, they needed to expend even more effort to keep up with the others and to maintain their position.
In the blink of an eye, two weeks had passed. In that time, Elder Xuan had helped them with their training twice. His teaching methods were very direct and crude. He simply made them fight without any reservations.
Every time, the seven of them would be divided into different groups and made to fight each other. Elder Xuan had also told them not to hold back. With a powerful expert like him as a supervisor, they wouldn't be in any danger. Under Elder Xuan's assiduous training, Huo Yuhao fought while paired with several different teammates. And every single time, his team would end up on the weaker side.
As they studied and cultivated earnestly, Huo Yuhao could feel that himself improving every day. Moreover, he and Wang Dong had gotten better and better at using their Haodong Power. After half a month, Huo Yuhao could feel his soul power approaching rank 27. Soon, he'd break through again.
But the one that gave them the biggest surprise was Xiao Xiao. Her soul power had managed to reach rank 29. Just one more level and she'd be able to hunt a soul beast and become a rank 30 Soul Elder.
Today was one of the days that Elder Xuan was training them. Whenever this happened, Huo Yuhao and the others would skip their classes and come to the Assessment Area to take Elder Xuan's lesson. Today was no different.
However, as soon as they entered the Assessment Area, they saw some unfamiliar faces.
Bei Bei, He Caitou, Xu Sanshi, and Jiang Nannan had already arrived. However, there were also some other students alongside Elder Xuan.
Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao felt their heartbeat speed up when they saw the seven students, all of whom were wearing blood-red school uniforms. This color meant that they were students of the inner courtyard.
Huo Yuhao only knew one of those seven students: Ma Xiaotao. However, he hadn’t seen her since that day.
Today, her long hair had been pulled up into a ponytail; she looked extremely neat. When she noticed Huo Yuhao, the corners of her mouth lifted to reveal a pensive smile.
Huo Yuhao was somewhat embarrassed, and he immediately blushed. He still clearly remembered the scene from that day! Moreover, Ma Xiaotao was the first woman to have ever had such an intimate relationship with him. As such, he remembered it even more clearly.
Besides Ma Xiaotao, there were six other people present, four of which were men, while the other two were women. Their age seemed to be about the same as hers. Bei Bei and the others had arrived a bit earlier, and they had solemn expressions as they stood there. From time to time, they'd shoot a glance at the inner courtyard disciples. Apart from their envy, there was also admiration and respect within their eyes.
These red-clothed disciples of the inner courtyard were the strongest students in the academy. It was also thanks to them that Shrek Academy could maintain its status as the number one academy on the continent.
Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong, and Xiao Xiao walked toward Bei Bei and the others; they too were very reserved. After all, today they were in the presence of several fellow powerful students. In addition to this, they had more or less guessed the seven's identities.
Elder Xuan nodded at their arrival and said, "You've all arrived. The next Continental Advanced Academy Soul Dueling Tournament will begin in ten days. Both of your groups should've guessed the identity of the other. Your guesses aren't wrong. On one side, we have those that will participate in the competition. On the other side, we have the reserves. Both of you are the old and new generations of the Shrek's Seven Monsters. There are two reasons that I've brought you to here to meet each other today: The first is to get to know each other, while the second is to get you guys acquainted with each other's respective abilities."
With that, he turned toward Huo Yuhao and the other seven and said, "You couldn't have possibly thought that you guys would just act as spectators, right? On the contrary, unless something expected happens, all of you will probably have to fight. Whenever we encounter an opponent that's not too strong, it'll be your turn to go on stage. This way we can properly hide the main team's abilities."
When they heard that they would have a chance to go on stage, Huo Yuhao and the others were pleasantly surprised. At first, they had really thought that they would just be present as spectators! They hadn't thought that they'd have the opportunity to represent the academy! And this wasn't just any academy they would be representing; it was Shrek Academy!
Elder Xuan snorted and continued, "Don't get overexcited. It's inevitable that you'll have to go on stage. However, you're not allowed to lose. If one of you isn't careful and manages to lose a match… Hehe, you'll learn the consequences. So long as I'm alive, that person can forget about entering the inner courtyard. Moreover, you should adjust your mentality. In this session, you'll act as a support for the main group. You'll have to obey their every order. Do you understand?"